Marriage truly tests the love that couples think they have for each other and staying happily married is the real achievement.
There’s been a continuous discussion about whether marriage is an achievement or not. While some people insist that marriage is an achievement because it accords women respect in this part of the world, others insist that marriage is just another phase of life and not an achievement.
Effects spoke to some Nigerians about this issue and here are their responses:
Nneka: Making marriage work is the real achievement
I think marriage is an achievement worthy of being congratulated only once the couple has faced several ups and downs together over a period of time and are now tying the knot with full conviction of their decision.
Whether it’s a love or an arranged marriage, marriage is not the be-all. It’s only the beginning of a long journey together, and to make it work successfully takes mutual understanding and love — this is the achievement. Not marriage, as such.
Experience has taught me that it’s much more rewarding to be single or unmarried rather than to rush into marriage for the sake of it to someone who’s just not right for you.
Mary: Being married is not an achievement
Being married is not an achievement. However, it may be for those who have been able to marry after overcoming a number of obstacles, opposition and hardships. Yes, that can be an accomplishment. But what constitutes an achievement in a marriage is to make it an absolute success – making it last, keeping the romance alive and caring for one another demands a lot of work and patience. Marriage truly tests the love that couples think they have for each other and staying happily married is the real achievement.
Nathan: Marriage is an achievement because married people are respected
Marriage is an achievement in Nigeria. If you are not married at a certain age, people believe you are irresponsible. Marriage is equated with being responsible and married people are respected. I would insist that marriage is an achievement because it requires a high level of commitment, and only bold people can make a decision of stepping into it. It also requires a life time of commitment and not many people can do that. So people who can stick to their spouses for life through life’s ups and downs have achieved something.
Francis: Marriage does not elevate your status in society
Getting married to another does not make you any more or less important to your friends, family or society than you were as a single woman. Contrary to what people think, marriage does not elevate your status in the society. Your status is reflected by the contribution you make towards the society, irrespective of who you chose to marry and when. Being married to someone should not define you.
You should know that as a human being, you are much more. You are all the degrees that you studied hard for, all the examinations you failed, all the nights you prepared. You are the knowledge you have and the value you bring to the table – you are not just another son-in-law or daughter-in-law to another family.
Kemi: How does marriage become an achievement when it’s not a degree?
Marrying someone and raising children with them shouldn’t be your end goal in life. Many years ago, the only way for a woman to secure her life was to get married to a decent man who would look after her. But today, when men and woman stand equal and ladies can pay their bills and look after themselves. We shouldn’t regress back to living the way we did when we exercised no rights. Today, you have other options. The only prerequisite for marriage are two willing partners. You don’t need any other qualifications, really. So how does it qualify as an accomplishment?
Ebere: Just getting married is not an accomplishment
A successful marriage is an accomplishment but just getting married to someone is not. A marriage is worked upon by two people for years. They share joys and sorrows, they share children and they share what they believe in – and all this takes effort and commitment and compromise, and hence, becomes a worthy feat. But, to feel that you are accomplishing something only because you are getting married is fooling yourself.
Chris: Individuals should define what marriage means to them
When a society views marriage as an achievement, we make single ladies feel like they are half women if they are not married, we make ladies chase the trophy of marriage and so they don’t commit to a suitable man but any man who will make that trophy achievable. We put pressure on the married woman to act a certain way because society is watching how successful she is, we make the women who had to get a divorce for legitimate reasons feel like failures.
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This is why so many single ladies no matter how much success they have in their personal and career life, they feel inadequate. They face a look that says “What is wrong with you, can’t you find a man?”, they feel like the married women look down on them because the married women act like they won a gold medal and the single ladies are still babies who don’t know much about life. Single ladies face pressure in church, at home, at work even from themselves; it’s as if society is telling them We don’t trust how woman you are.
This is why many ladies focus on weddings and not the quality of marriage. They focus more on what the public will see rather than what the marriage will be in private. This shouldn’t be the case. Individuals should be left alone to define what marriage means to them personally.
Gloria: I consider marriage an accomplishment
It didn’t take years of reading books and sitting in a university lecture hall to qualify me for marriage, although I do have a University degree. My marriage to a loving person who feels like the home I never had but always wanted isn’t proof of my ability to succeed professionally, although I think I haven’t done badly at meeting many of my professional goals.
I have been married for less than three years and that hardly qualifies me as a marriage expert but I know that being married to my husband makes me happy. I am still in the beginning stages of learning through sharing myself and loving the good and the bad in my partner, through thick and thin.
I’m not saying being married is better than not being married or that putting a ring on it is the only way to commit to a person. That’s a choice we each have to make for ourselves. But I consider my marriage an accomplishment.
Tolulope: I am happy I am married
I’m happy I am married. My marriage was celebrated as one of the most momentous occasions of my life, because it was. It was the culmination of personal struggles and dating battles hard-won, and the beginning of sharing my life with someone I adore. Getting to the point where I am ready to do so, for me, has everything to do with how I have developed into a healthier and stronger person over the years. And I’m proud of myself for that.